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| Last Updated:: 12/03/2019

Local communities key inconservation of snow leopards: study








Involving local communities and protecting their livelihoods may be a better strategy for conservation of snow leopards, a new study has found.



Snow leopardsare apex predators in the alpine ecosystem. Its conservation is critical for saving other species like Asiatic Ibex, Tibetan Argali, Ladakh Urial, Chiru, Takin, Serow and Musk Deer. However, snow leopard numbers are dwindling due to the decline in prey population and poaching for snow leopard skin. There is also ‘revenge killing’ in areas where leopards kill the livestock of villagers.




For a conservation programme to be successful, it is important to make local communities realise the significance of conserving a species and involve them in the process. This recent research effort approaches snow leopard conservation accounting for both scientific as well as socio-economic perspectives.



Even though the snow leopard is protected under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in India, there are no certain details about the potential snow leopard habitats and a long term conservation strategy involving local people. The study done in snow leopard habitats in Ladakh establishes that if people are compensated for the loss of their livestock, ‘revenge killing’ can be prevented.